Agencies, Jaipur Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf reached here today, relished lunch with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and then flew for Ajmer to pay obeisance at Sufi Sant Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti’s durgah.
The visiting Prime Minister accompanied by a group of about 40 of his family members and officials reached at the Sanganer Airport here by special plane. Jaipur Police Commissioner BL Soni and other officials received the visiting dignitary at the airport. Later, Mr Ashraf drove to the Ram Bagh Palace hotel where Mr Khurshid welcomed him amid beats of drum and tunes of Shahnai. Rajasthani folk artists gave his reception a cultural colour. At the hotel Mr Ashraf and Mr Khurshid appeared before the media for a very brief photo session. On this occasion, in his ceremonial welcome remarks Mr Khurshid said “Khwaja wants you to come here’ and observed ‘everything goes on favourably when the Khwaja Garib Nawaz wants it that way”.
At the reception, the Pakistan premier and Indian External Minister merely exchanged pleasantries, an External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said. Mr Khurshid hosted a lunch in honour to the guest. Special Rajasthan dishes like like Kair-Sangri, Dhundhari Murg, Laal Mans, Missi Roti, Makki Shahzadi, Daal Banzari, Rabdi Maalpua and Malai Kulfi, were served to the guests. After lunch Mr Ashraf and the group flew for Ajmer by three helicopters. Mr Kurshid bade Mr Ashraf farewell at the hotel. Later in his brief chat with media, the Minister said ‘The Pakistan Prime Minister was here on a private visit for paying obeisance at the Ajmer Durgah Sharif and now he alongwith his group have left for Ajmer.’ As per the general courtesy and seeing decorum of his post, I welcomed him here, arranged lunch and wished his journey all success, the Minister said indicating no substantive issues or India’s concerns figured at the lunchon chat that was confined to sharing of light moments, pleasantries and general talks on composite culture, spirituality and communality. On a question whether topical issues of India’s concern were came up in any form, Mr Khurshid said ‘Since visit was private and religious, neither it was an occasion to raise such matters nor did I have authority for today to raise them’.
“We do raise such issues on appropriate occasions, we did so in on appropriate occasion at appropriate level and would continue to raise appropriately in future too”, he said. On opposiion to the Pak premier’s visit by the BJP, Mr Khurshid said ‘they should look at their own history’. However, Mr Ashraf’s visit was marred with protest and opposition by some groups. A few activists of Rajput outfit Karni Sena present at a point along his route from Airport to hotel raised slogans and waved black flags.
A report from Ajmer said prior to the arival of Pakistan leader and his group, some protesters held demonstration at the durgah gate. Three women wearing black sarees as a mark of protest breached security and reached at the dargah’s Nizam Gate and raised slogans. Some BJP and VHP activists were also rounded up by the police in the vicinity of the shrine and bus stand for raising slogans and holding demonstration.